Textile Traditions of Oaxaca’s Coast & Isthmus

Textile Traditions of Oaxaca's Coast & Isthmus

February February 3-11, 2020 (8 Nights)

Private Group Departure

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On this journey, we explore the multiple ethnic communities of Oaxaca (and Guerrero) to learn of their cultural and ethnic expressions in dress and textiles. From the Amuzgo in Guerrero to the Mixtec, Huave, Zapotec in Oaxaca we will readily see how textile traditions and dress are a cultural passport and unique expression of the women (and some men) who live in this region. We will learn of the fibers, such as coyuche cotton and natural dye sources, such as Purpura Pansa, indigo and cochineal. This is an extraordinary close up journey into the communities where we meet the people and artisans who create visual masterpieces and maintain their cultural heritage. Join us!.



Trip Highlights:

  • Learn of Indigenous Textile Traditions of Oaxaca including: Amuzgo, Mixteco, Zapoteco & Huave.
  • Travel to Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero to meet the finest Amuzgo weavers.
  • Meet weavers & coops in remote communities of Pinotepa de Don Luis & San Juan Colorado to learn of their unique traditions in weaving and dress.
  • Meet Mixteco weavers in Huazolotitlan and Jamiltepec where we see how dress is a cultural passport.
  • Travel with the purpura pansa dyers of the coast to see how they extract this scarce purple dye.
  • Learn about the history and evolution of “traje” from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
  • Learn of the various embroidery techniques in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
  • Learn about Muxe culture.

textiles of oaxaca

Trip Includes:

  • Accommodations
  • Expert Guides and/or Academics
  • Comfortable / Secure Transportation
  • Welcome and Farewell Dinners
  • Breakfasts
  • Meals according to itinerary
  • Water on Van/Coach
  • Airport Transfers
  • Entry Fees






Day One: Arrival Day, Arrive Acapulco (ACA), Welcome Dinner


Upon arrival at the ACA airport, you will take an official Airport “Sitio” cab to the hotel.  In the evening, we’ll gather to enjoy a lovely group meal overlooking the famed Acapulco Bay.


Day Two: Fuerte San Diego Acapulco, Lunch at Playa Ventura, Transfer to Ometepec (B, L)


Before we transfer to our base for the Amuzgo region, Ometepec, Guerrero, we’ll visit the Fuerte San Diego Museum in Acapulco. Here, we’ll learn about the trans-Pacific trade of the Manila Galleons that lasted 250 years, plying trade from Manila to Acapulco and back.   After our visit, we’ll transfer to Ometepec, stopping for a wonderful ocean-side lunch along the way, in Playa Ventura. We’ll enjoy the wonderful “pescado a la talla”, wonderful grilled fish from the region, accompanied by the rhythms of the “son chilena”, the music of the Pacific Coast of Guerrero and Oaxaca. Arriving at our hotel in Ometepec, the evening is a leisure to swim in the pool, or go out to a great tack restaurant!


Day Three: Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero (B, L)


An amazing day awaits, as we travel to the mecca of Amuzgo weavers, Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero, where we meet the extraordinary weavers of the coop, Flor de Xochistlahuaca, formerly lead by master weaver and teacher to young women, Florentina Lopez. Here, the tradition remains alive, due to the dedication of these women to their art and heritage. We’ll see huipils (3 panels) and batas (2 panels) that are woven on backstrap looms, taking up to six months to produce. We’ll see the preparation of the beautiful native cottons, such as coyuche with carmel hues, and others with sage green hues. And, we’ll learn of their work and talent, using natural dyes. Overnight in Ometepec. (B, L)


Day Four: Pinotepa de Don Luis and San Juan Colorado (B, L)


Today, once again, we travel to meet some of the most talented and inspiring weavers, spinners and dyers of the coastal Mixtec region of Oaxaca, known as the Costa Chica. In two communities, Pinotepa de Don Luis and San Juan Colorado, we learn of the traditional dress of the region, such as the pozahuanco wrap skirt of caracol purpura, indigo and “fuschina” stripes. We’ll see a lot of coyuchi cotton spinning and weaving in these communities! Overnight in Pinotepa Nacional.

A special treat is in store today, as we’ve timed our trip to coincide with the carnival celebrations on the coast of Oaxaca.


Day Five: Huazolotitlan, Jamiltepec, Puerto Escondido (B, L)


Today we visit the communities of Huazolotitlan and Jamiltepec to meet with some of the best weavers and embroiderers of the region and to see how dress changes from one community to the next. Here, we will learn about the double-headed eagle iconography that is so representative in this region, and we will see a unique way the huipil is worn over the shoulder! Arriving in Puerto Escondido, we’ll relax at the hotel, before enjoying a lovely dinner overlooking the ocean. Overnight in Puerto Escondido.


Day Six: Huatulco, Caracol Purpura Demo (B, L)


Today is a day we have all anticipated. We’ll be met by our friends, the Mixtec dyers, to travel further down the coast to one of the first bays of the seven bays of Huatulco. We’ll travel to the beach, to board our lanchas that will take us to the cove where we will be so honored and privileged to see how nature and man work together to create this remarkable color purple. The Mixtec dyers have been traveling to the coast for thousands of years, to produce colored threads for weaving into the pozahuanco wrap skirt, worn by the Mixtec women of this region.  We’ll observe how the sea mollusk is irritated, to produce a defensive fluid, that will later oxidize and turn purple.  The mollusk is not harmed or killed, but rather, it is returned to the rock, to continue its natural life cycle. We’ll enjoy lunch on the beach, before going to Huatulco to Overnight.


Day Seven: San Mateo del Mar, Tehuantepec (B, L)


Leaving Huatulco, we continue down the Oaxaca coast towards Salina Cruz, to the Huave community of weavers, San Mateo del Mar. While the women are Huave, they have adopted the dress of the Zapotec women of the Isthmus; the colorful huipil accompanied with a flowing, equally colorful skirt. Their traditional whimsical weaving designs of animals, fish, butterflies, can be seen on the runners, place mats and other utilitarian items they weave of cotton on backstrap looms. From here, we travel into the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to visit the Zapotec community, Tehuantepec. We will learn of the history of traje, or dress which is so emblematic of this region, making the women of Tehuantepec a favorite subject of artists and sculptors, such as Roberto Montenegro and Francisco Zuniga, and made popular by Frida Kahlo, who often was seen wearing beautiful traje brought to her by travelers to the region. We overnight in Tehuantepec.


Day Eight, In the morning we visit the Market in Juchitan, then transfer to Oaxaca City, for overnight. 

Day Nine: End of Trip or Extend a day in Oaxaca City. 


Photos From This Tour




















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